Basra, Iraq, The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), in coordination with the Ministry of Environment (MoE), Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) and Ministry of Water Resources (MoWR), launched on 30 January 2023 the training on Conservation Agriculture and Land Management Practices through Farmer Field Schools approach, a milestone of the “Sustainable Land Management for Improved Livelihoods in Degraded areas of Iraq” project funded by Global Environment Facility (GEF).
Thirty-one government extensions officers from Thi Qar Governorate attended the training and will cascade the gained knowledge to Lead Farmers who will spearhead a farmer-to-farmer extension service delivery on Conservation Agriculture for Sustainable Land Management across the project locations.

The training sessions include but not limited the following thematic subjects: roles and responsibilities of farmers field school trainers, criteria for selection and management of farming demonstration sites, principles of conservation agriculture, diagnosis and combating land degradation, climate smart agriculture, design and implementation of an action plan on rural participatory farmer- to-farmer extension service delivery.

During the workshop, Dr Salah ElHajjHassan, FAO Representative underlined the importance of the FFS model developed by FAO in building extension officers and farmers skills to improve sustainable production while adapting to climate change impacts. He said, “the project will build upon and expand this model for the purposes of building local community capacity to engage in and support agro-ecological and conservation practices at the landscape level”.

FAO Technical team composed of national and international experts will continue delivering during the next 7 days theoretical and field sessions for capacity building of the extension officers on conservation agriculture pillars, mechanisms, techniques, as well as planning and management skills.

Source: United Nations Iraq